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F1 Event, Vendor Permit Deadlines Close, City Warns

With race four weeks away, city updates on road closures

By Richard Whittaker, 2:01PM, Fri. Oct. 19, 2012

F1 Event, Vendor Permit Deadlines Close, City Warns

If you're planning to extend your business around Formula One weekend, you better hurry: The city of Austin has sent out the list of deadlines for permit applications, and they're closer than you think.

At a press briefing at city hall yesterday, staff ran through what businesses and vendors will need to apply for to put on extra events or sell food during the weekend. Considering there will be an estimated 300,000 people in and around Austin for the three day race weekend, that could be a lot of businesses.

Here's the quick guide:

If you're wanting to sell t-shirts, water, etc, on private property, you'll need a temporary use permit: Deadline Nov. 5.

If you're wanting to change the use of a property, like holding a warehouse party in a building that doesn't have a certificate of occupancy, you need a temporary change of use permit: Deadline Nov. 5.

And if you want to have a band or DJ at your event, you need a temporary amplified sound permit: Deadline Oct. 24.

Application forms are available at 505 Barton Springs Road or online at the city website. City deputy director of economic growth and development Rodney Gonzalez said that the relevant agencies will "consider those applications cumulatively," to ensure that there isn't a flood of new pop-up businesses.

Just because the race is soon, don't expect that applications will all be rushed through without all the relevant agencies casting an eye over them. When it comes to the temporary change of use permits, Austin Fire Department Division Chief Brian Tanzola warned that his office will be doing due diligence on all applications, and late applications may just not be processed in time. He said, "It's important that you realize that those facilities must already have had an annual maintenance inspection. This can't be a last-minute attempt to gain a permit."

The big pending permits are the street closures for the two big planned events: Experience Austin around the Capitol, and Fan Fest around West Fourth. They'll be the biggest outdoor events in town, but inevitably there will be others. It's officially too late to apply for permit to cover live music or a DJ over the whole three days: Instead, venues can apply for a one day permit only. David Murray, the Music Office's sound engineering consultant, said there had been a lot of applications from businesses around those two events "but outside of those areas we haven't seen a significant increase in events related to F1." He said he was surprised that his office hadn't had more applications, but that they will be paying close attention next year.

The applications from Experience Austin and Fan Fest are still with staff but, since there were not a sufficient number of complaints or objections from local businesses and stakeholders, they are being processed now. As Council Member Kathie Tovo asked staff to clarify yesterday, such closures are handled by staff and not council (staff ran through the full list of all such closures for all events over the next three months, and if council was dealing with each one, they'd never get anything else done. Insert your own joke here.) Experience takes basically the same footprint as the Texas Book Festival, while Fan Fest extends out beyond the W and ACL Live at the Moody Theater. There will also be the normal Sixth Street closures over the weekend, which is going to make downtown travel, er, tough: However, CapMetro will be running a free downtown circulator route across the three day weekend.

Deadlines

Oct. 24: One day amplified sound permit.

Nov. 5: Temporary use permit, temporary change of use permit

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